On September 18, crypto data and research platform Messari’s founder and CEO, Ryan Selkis, tweeted that there is no possibility that North Korea “is responsible for billions of dollars of crypto hacks.” However, crypto journalist Laura Shin responded to the tweet, explaining the power dynamic in the “dictatorship regime.”
Ryan, the regime is a dictatorship that oppresses its own people while enriching itself. It’s not everyday North Koreans who are doing these hacks. It’s hackers working for the dictatorship, which is trying to evade sanctions to keep its grip on power. There’s electricity for…— Laura Shin (@laurashin) September 18, 2023
Selkis shared a picture of North Korea from space at night, highlighting how it’s drowning in darkness amidst brightly lit neighboring countries. He claimed that it is possible that the crypto attacks are a potential covert operation orchestrated by North Korea to prohibit crypto adoption within its borders. Shin soon counter-argued that the ruling regime is an oppressor of its own citizens. Therefore, the crypto hacks are not the work of North Korean citizens but instead are carried out by hackers employed by the authoritarian government. Furthermore, she emphasized,
It’s not everyday North Koreans who are doing these hacks. It’s hackers working for the dictatorship, which is trying to evade sanctions to keep its grip on power. There’s electricity for that tiny elite but nobody else. That’s why North Korea can look dark at night and also have stolen a ton of money in DeFi.
A few days ago, internet sleuth ZachXBT accused North Korea of hacking the crypto exchange CoinEx and managing to steal $54 million. The hackers that have been identified as the Lazarus Group have previously been responsible for a number of scams.
According to Reuter’s latest report, blockchain researchers have also indicated that hackers with ties to North Korea are the potential culprits behind the $70 million CoinEx exploit. The blockchain research firm Elliptic has suggested several factors that prove Lazarus Group’s involvement in the hack. However, CoinEx representatives stated that the “hacker’s identity remains under investigation.”